How to get a good ATAR

29 June 2016
29 June 2016 The Alchemy Team

“Just tell me what I need to do to get a good ATAR!”

The words of my student hung heavily in the air with expectancy – like I had a secret answer that I’d been guarding for years.

Unfortunately for my student, I didn’t have any secrets.

The answer is the same for the personal trainer who is asked how to lose weight or the financial planner who is asked how to save for a first home.

Hard work, persistence and discipline.

These 3 ingredients, while simple on paper, are much harder to stick with in practice. We all know how to lose weight but we don’t do it because we lack one of those 3 characteristics. But if you can excel at these 3 things, even those students who are perhaps not naturally academic can outperform even the brightest students.

Hard work is at the root of any success in any field. Occasionally we see overnight success, or someone get lucky, but those are the anomaly. 99% of success comes through insane amounts of hard work. It’s the soccer player going to the field after school every day and kicking goals for 2 hours. It’s the guitarist sitting in his room for hours on end and mastering his scales. It is the student going home and studying – even when his friends try to convince him otherwise. The greatest skill a student can learn is to work hard – to get in the zone and be super productive.

If you’ve ever tried to lose weight you will understand the value of persistence. Being healthy and cutting out junk is easy for a day or so – and then suddenly it gets hard. To succeed you need to build persistence in to your life – because the HSC is a long year and it is going to get really hard. Those students who perform the best are those that are able to remain persistent through the highs and the lows.

Discipline goes hand in hand with the other 2 points. Building up the discipline muscle is crucial for any success in whatever you want to do. There will be a billion things competing for your attention during your HSC year but you need to remain disciplined and focus on what really matters. When you are studying, actually study. Say no to youtube, no to snapchat and no to things getting in the way of your study patterns.

Good luck. I’m sorry I don’t have any secrets for you. But I promise you that if you master these three things you will get a good ATAR!
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